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While Christmas may be looking a little different to previous years, that’s no reason to stint on the celebrations - if anything, we could all do with a touch more indulgence as this challenging year reaches its conclusion. A popular way to satisfy taste buds of all ages, and a potentially show-stopping centrepiece to boot, a grazing platter is the perfect way to add sparkle to festive tables this Christmas.
There are plenty of products you can display to great effect on a grazing platter - from delicious, high quality cheese to nuts, dried fruit and meats - but the way you present them visually is just as important as the products you choose to share. A stunning grazing platter will not only appeal to those lucky enough to taste it, but it will have serious promotional mileage too - all you need to do is follow the tips below, courtesy of Somerset cheesemakers Godminster.
Maximise ‘Instagrammability’ for social media success
Grazing platters have become a brilliant new way to get your customers enjoying a beautiful range of products in a stylish way. Here at Godminster, we first saw the grazing board trend start to take root in late 2019, fuelled by the ‘Instagrammability’ of some of the beautiful fine foods that are out there on the market. This is where shelf appeal really comes into its own – customers are looking for products that look as beautiful as they taste!
You can also see the roots of this trend in the surge of wedding cheese cake sales that we saw start in roughly 2013. A photo tells a thousand words, and the power of a beautiful grazing board to sell your products visually on social media is paramount.
Consider The Lockdown Effect – how sharing platters evolved into grazing
At Godminster, we’ve found that two key tools on Instagram (and social media in general) are crafting that ‘thumb stopping’ image that has your customers buying with their eyes.
Sharing boards evolved – when home deliveries and delivery boxes became widespread, making a beautiful box of goodies to be enjoyed with your family suddenly became overwhelmingly popular.
It’s a fantastic added service for any deli that’s looking to promote new and exciting ways to sell their cheese during lockdown. Take a deposit, arrange the size/weight, put together your creation and arrange a pick-up time.
How to put together the perfect show-stopper grazing board for your customers
The key concepts of putting together a good cheeseboard apply here, but ramped up to the max for ultimate impact and ‘shareability’ when it comes to social media.
1. You want to make sure you have all the elements of a great cheeseboard – a Cheddar, a blue, a soft, a territorial, and a ‘something special’ – while also maintaining the wow factor. Think beautifully shaped cheeses, such as star or heart-shaped truckles, combined with a goats cheese rolled in honey and flower petals. Whatever you choose, make sure they taste as great as they look!
2. Once you have your cheeses in place on the board, start filling up the gaps with accompaniments. We’ve seen plenty of boards that mix sweet and savoury, with seasonal fruit nestled in amongst local charcuterie, juicy olives, walnuts, almonds, figs, apricots, and more. Nestle in a few pots of dips, chutneys, jams or pȃté, along with crunch crackers for an array of textures
3. Fill up the space as creatively as possible! Make patterns with creative cuts, pick bright fresh colours and interesting textures – Instagram is great for inspiration when it comes to making your board look beautiful!
4. Don’t forget your finishing touches. Garnishes such as edible flowers, fresh herbs, and of course a little bit of your shop or deli’s branding, will tie the whole thing together
Looking for inspiration to build your own grazing platters? Be sure to check out @threelittlefigsbristol (graze boxes in Bristol), @spreadsandbreadsuk (Grazing tables, platters, trays and boxes in Solihull), @overboardfoodco and @ohbriehave_ldn on Instagram.